Residents of a Wyoming ranch said they were nearly struck by stray bullets from hunters. That led to charges of ‘unsafe hunting’ against a GOP candidate.
If you’ve never heard the sound of a bullet whizzing by your head, Cory Williams describes it as a “crack” — almost like someone snapping their fingers.
It’s the sound he heard during the morning of Nov. 30 while working on Trout Creek Ranch in northwestern Wyoming.
First, he heard shots from nearby hunting, a common activity in those parts. Then the first crack sounded, and Williams, the ranch’s manager, immediately ducked behind a truck for cover. That’s when Williams’ wife came across the porch, and they heard it again.
“My wife was like ‘What the heck was that?’ and I was like ‘That was a bullet; you need to get down right now,'” Williams said in an interview Wednesday.
No one at the ranch suffered any injuries from the incident. However, after investigating a group of hunters in a nearby property, the Park County Sheriff’s Office has pressed charges against local GOP committeewoman Nina Webber.
Sheriff’s Office Presses Charges
Webber has been a fixture in the Wyoming Republican Party for several years.
She continues to serve as the Wyoming Republican National Committeewoman and was a two-time candidate for House District 24.
She’s also now been charged with reckless endangerment stemming from the incident on Nov. 30, according to The Powell Tribune. According to the local paper, the sheriff’s office did not press charges against any other member of the hunting party.
Park County Sheriff Scott Steward told the Tribune a deputy investigated the incident. He said the deputy determined Webber was the only hunter in a position to take the shots that threatened Williams and his wife. In a press release, the sheriff’s office described the incident as “unsafe hunting.”
Webber plans to fight the charges, The Powell Tribune reported.
“I have retained an attorney, and we will be fighting these allegations,” she said in an interview with the paper.
Webber narrowly lost an election this year for District 24 of the Wyoming State Legislature. It’s the second time she’s tried and failed to win the office. On her campaign website, it is noted that she’s endorsed by the Gun Owners of America and received an “A” rating from the NRA.
As for the Nov. 30 incident, Williams and his wife weren’t the only ones to dodge whizzing bullets. Another ranch employee was feeding horses when she crouched down to avoid being struck, he said.
In 12 years of working at the ranch, which frequently sees nearby hunters, Williams said nothing like this has ever happened.
“We’ve had irrigation equipment struck by bullets, but never near people or buildings that I know of,” he said.
Reckless endangerment carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for up to one year.